Bhubaneswar start-up uses insects to produce animal feed from food waste
Tonnes of leftover food materials go waste and create unhygienic atmosphere in urban landscape. A Bhubaneswar-based start-up which has managed to turn the waste into animal feed has attracted Israeli investment and knowledge collaboration.
The start-up, Insectika Biotech Private Limited (IBPL), has begun collaboration with Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) for accessing food and other wet green waste at Micro Composting Centres. The company releases black soldier flies on food waste and larvae of flies thrive on the waste. It produces feed for animals as well as crop.
Founded in 2022, the IBPL is a joint Indian – Israeli venture led by Arun Kumar Das, founder, India and Benjamin Rubin, co-founder, Israel. It has both operation and research base in Bhubaneswar and Tel Aviv.
“We are in the business of black soldier flies because they provide roughly 5 lakh kg of protein per acre, per year. Their larvae thrive on upcycled feed ingredients and our products provide sustainable nutrition to domesticated crops and animals with almost no waste,” said Mr. Das.
As per the present production formula, four kg of food waste produces one kg of feed for fish and poultry. Mr. Das said Central Institute of Freshwater Aquaculture, an Indian Council of Agriculture Research, too acknowledged the product.
According to an estimate, roughly 150 tonnes of food waste is generated in Bhubaneswar per day. “The venture offer win-win proposition for disposal of waste and generating food products for fish and poultry,” said founder of the start-up.
The start-up company which was founded at less than ₹1 crore of investment is looking at expanding its area of operation to other urban areas.
“Our bioreactor-based technology is highly efficient for economically feasible mass production of insect larvae for natural feed and biofuel industry and insect frass for organic fertilizer industry. The insect protein industry has moved to the cultivation of insect larvae instead of adults such as cricket,” said Mr. Rubin, the Israeli entrepreneur.
Mr. Rubin said, “Insectika uses insect farming to recycle green and wet waste into protein for animal feed. By recycling the waste, we reduce the incentive for unsustainable fishing and deforestation, as well as shorten supply chains and reduce greenhouse emissions from the rotting waste.”
Promoters of the start-up said, “Aquaculture and poultry production rely heavily on fishmeal or soya for their feed requirements. Soya production requires vast tracts of land that could be more effectively used to produce food for ever-expanding human populations. The recycling of waste is expected solve the problem.”